Stephen and his wife Linda live in Kirkham and for 13 years Stephen managed the Face To Face Homelessness Charity merging it into Fylde Coast YMCA some ten years ago. As Housing Director at the YMCA, Stephen was responsible for developing various community projects including The Credit Union and Fylde Counselling Service.
Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.
|Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.|
I grew up in a small market town. Everybody knew each other in the street where we played. I remember feeling very grown up when elderly neighbours would ask me to run an errand for them giving me a basket, shopping list and money. Having checked with my Mum it was OK, off on the errand I went clutching the money and list and feeling very proud of myself when I returned with everything they asked for and every penny accounted for. A job well done was sometimes rewarded with a threepenny bit but looking back it wasn’t the tip that mattered most, it was that I was chosen and trusted to do something important.
This memory came flooding back as I read the fliers pushed through my door wanting my vote in the local elections. Who am I prepared to trust my ‘shopping list and money’ to? They might live near me, but I don’t know them. Probably like many other people I am not sure any more what party politics are really about at any level, allegiances of many years have been severely tested. Some candidates have many years of experience - is that good or do we need someone new to ’shake things up’ but then how realistic are they, can they deliver? At least they are willing to serve.
Then I come to place my X! It always seems strange how we affirm someone with a cross rather than a tick. But then here we are at election time, shortly after Easter, where the cross is a symbol of commitment and service, of one whose message was rejected yet still relevant 2,000 years down the road. I have followed Him for over 50 years and always found He delivers. I am voting for Jesus what about you?